Another day, another dirty hit in the NHL. It hasn't been a good week for this.
On Thursday, Detroit's Niklas Kronwall was the victim of a nasty check from behind courtesy Cody McLeod of the Colorado Avalanche. After winning a race for the puck in the Detroit end, Kronwall tried to reverse course and turn back up the boards, only to be hit as he did so, driven face first into the wall by the Avalanche forechecker.
Like Dan Boyle Tuesday night St. Louis, the blueliner had to be stretchered from the ice in a very scary scene.
The plays aren't all that dissimilar. Like Boyle, Kronwall is in a prone position at the point of contact, hunched over slightly, and his head appears to be driven right into the dasher. It's a moment at which you absolutely cannot follow through with that hit.
(UPDATE: The NHL announced that McLeod has been offered an in-person hearing at a date to be determined.)
Unsurprisingly, McLeod was ejected from the game for boarding. Will there be more? Yeah, probably.
The Department of Player Safety is busy right now, preparing to throw the book at Max Lapierre for the Boyle hit. One assumes they'll be able to reuse a lot of the script for that video when they're throwing a similar, likely bigger book at McLeod.
McLeod isn't a repeat offender under the CBA, although he did escape what many assumed would be a suspension on a similar hit to the Wild's Jared Spurgeon back in 2011. (Seriously, how did that not get one?)
McLeod won't escape the hammer of Shan this time around. There's no excuse for a hit like this. Sure, Kronwall turned, but his back was to McLeod and his numbers were visible the whole time.
You have to let up on a collision like this, lest someone winds up leaving on a stretcher. These are things we know. We don't need demonstrations.